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Ukraine may soon receive additional batch of Switchblade 600 drones

Ukraine may soon receive additional batch of Switchblade 600 drones Illustrative photo (AeroVironment Inc)
Author: Daria Shekina

Ukraine intends to obtain additional batches of Switchblade 600 kamikaze drones, potentially enhancing the capability of the Armed Forces to target Russian troops, reports RBC-Ukraine, according to Newsweek.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces currently have more Switchblade 300 drones than Switchblade 600 models, but this is expected to change soon. According to Charlie Dean, Vice President of Global Business Development and Marketing at defense contractor AeroVironment, Switchblade 600 is crucial for Ukraine's defense.

The United States has provided Ukraine with various types of drones as part of military assistance, including munitions such as Switchblade and Phoenix Ghost, which loiter in the air.

Switchblades, also used by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been seen in videos from Ukraine, but the Pentagon did not disclose the exact quantity sent to Kyiv.

Pentagon's response to Switchblade deliveries

In response to Newsweek's inquiry, the Pentagon stated that it could not provide additional details regarding specific quantities or types of equipment, systems, and supplies provided to Ukraine, beyond publicly available announcements.

"The U.S. Defense Department 'will continue to support Ukraine with the means to defend itself in the near term and deter against further aggression,'" said Pentagon spokesperson Jeff Jurgensen.

Active use of Switchblade drones in Ukraine

Charlie Dean stated that the US had provided Ukraine with a significant number of Switchblade 300 drones, and they were rapidly used in combat as intended.

"The 600s are also being used in Ukraine, and those quantities are adding up quickly in the country," he said. The 300s continue to outnumber the 600s presently, but that will soon change," he added.

Dean believes that the use of weapons like the Switchblade 600 is crucial for striking Russian forces equipped with heavy armor.

According to Dean, companies like AeroVironment learn from the daily experience of combat operations in Ukraine. There is constant communication between the company and Ukrainian Switchblade operators, which means drone designs can be improved or adjusted within a matter of weeks.

Switchblade 600 in Ukraine

The Switchblade 600 can carry a payload of up to 22 kg and has a range of up to 40 kilometers. They are particularly effective against armored vehicles.

Last fall, it was reported that the US Army was ready to contract for the supply of long-range and powerful kamikaze drones, the Switchblade 600, to Ukraine.

In the spring, Bild reported that Ukrainian defenders were likely already using American Switchblade 600 combat drones to strike Russian occupiers.